LINGAYEN, Philippines – The Philippine Sports Commission steps up its drive to tap fresh talents, including those in track and field, who could be trained and developed to become members of future national teams.
Elma Muros-Posadas, the country’s former long jump queen, said she would recommend a number of young, promising athletes turned in impressive performances in the just concluded Palarong Pambansa here.
They include long jumper Julian Fuentes of Cagayan Valley, high jumper Maureen Emily Schrijvers of the National Capital Region and barefoot runner Joneza Mie Sustituedo of Western Visayas, who posted record-breaking feats in their respective events in the annual multi-sports meet for elementary and high school students.
“I have several names in my list and I will recommend them to the PSC and hope they give these talented kids financial assistance,” said Muros Posadas, who was accompanied by husband and former national team coach Jojo, in Filipino.
Fuentes, 17, produced the worthiest win by shattering the decade-long 7.15m Palaro record in secondary boys long jump set by Calabarzon’s Paulo Martinez in Naga City with a 7.26m effort.
“We were impressed because he did it through sheer raw talent. He still needs to polish many things,” said Muros-Posadas, herself a former many-time SEA Games long jump gold medalist.
Palaro poster girl Schrijvers, a Phl-born 16-year-old lass who has a Belgian father and Chinese mother, also ripped the four-year-old mark of 1.61m set by Cordillera’s Marie Felice Ellago in Puerto Princesa, Palawan with a 1.62m leap.
Schrijvers actually went for the 19-year-old national juniors mark of 1.64m set by NCR’s Cherry Ann Janeza-Arqueza in the Phl National Open in Manila but failed in three tries at 1.65m.
Sustituedo, on the other hand, clocked 10 minutes, 34.1 seconds to eclipse the 10.40.6 mark in the 3,000m set by Cagayan Valley’s Mary Jane Campos in the millenium edition of the event in Bacolod.
Muros-Posadas said it’s high time that the country focuses on young talents.
“It’s now time to discover fresh young talents because our national athletes are not getting any younger,” she said.